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Is It Okay to Have Coffee Before an Eye Exam?

Blog, Eye Exam, Eye Information, Eyeglasses

Whether you love a good caramel frappuccino or plain black coffee, there’s nothing like a morning cup of Joe. And most Americans would have to agree, with the average person in the U.S. consuming more than three cups of coffee each day. 


The question is: is coffee good for your eyes? And if so, is it okay to have coffee before an eye exam? Here’s what you should know.

Is coffee good for your eyes?

Antioxidants are one of the best ingredients for eye health, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc are some of the top antioxidants. They have been shown to slow the symptoms of many eye diseases and conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts


Coffee is an abundant source of antioxidants, such as polyphenols and hydroxycinnamic acids. If you prefer to drink antioxidants instead of to eat them (such as via whole foods), coffee can increase your intake, though you shouldn’t rely on coffee alone for your daily dose of antioxidants. 


You’ll also want to incorporate produce and other healthy foods into your diet, including: 


  • Almonds
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tomatoes


Some studies indicate that coffee is good for your eyes. In fact, one revealed that its levels of chlorogenic acid might be able to help your eyes avoid vision loss caused by retinal degeneration. However, further research is needed. 

Is it okay to have coffee before an eye exam?

Having coffee before an eye exam won’t hurt you, but it’s best to avoid it. Coffee might be beneficial for your eye health. However, high amounts of caffeine can affect your blood pressure


Your eye doctor will test for underlying medical conditions, including high blood pressure, during the eye exam. If your blood pressure is off, it could make your results inaccurate. Detecting conditions such as high blood pressure early on are essential for more successful treatments, so if you can, keep away from anything that can elevate your blood pressure before your eye appointment.  


We realize that you may feel more attentive after drinking coffee (one of the reasons why it’s so easy to love this morning beverage), but too much coffee before your eye tests has a chance of affecting the results, so we recommend steering clear. Go for a decaf latte before your eye tests instead, if you feel like you can’t do without. 


Also, if you can, take a few minutes to rest your eyes before your eye exam. It’ll take the stress off your eyes and help you to be more alert without needing a caffeinated beverage. Not to mention, it can give you that much-needed nap you’ve been waiting for.

health eyes

Summary: Can you drink coffee before an eye exam?

If you’re putting together your list of “what not to do before an eye exam,” make room for coffee–at least right before your appointment. It’s best to avoid coffee before an eye exam since it has a chance of impacting your blood pressure, which can affect your eye examination results and warrant more follow-up appointments. 


Coffee is not all bad, though. It contains multiple antioxidants, which benefit your eyes. Some studies have also indicated that coffee can help you avoid vision loss due to retinal degeneration, though more research is necessary. 


Before your eye appointment, feel free to order decaf if you need it, but steer clear of caffeine. If you’re feeling tired after your eye exam, that’s the time to go for your usual coffee. 

Are you ready for your next eye appointment? Book one at your neighborhood For Eyes today. We look forward to meeting you.

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